We had a wonderful Christmas gathering last week and one of the most special things about it was watching the cousins interact. We have two boys and six grandchildren. The ages are 2 1/2, 5, 8, 10 1/2, 15 and 17. The children are close enough that we try to gather for birthdays and holidays and often for sheep shows in the summer. Though they know each other very well their ages don't make them playmates. Instead, there is a sense of caring, respect, and love between them.
The older cousins help care for the younger ones and the younger ones look up to the older ones. The older cousins are mentors to the younger ones and as they grow older they have more to share. They seem to enjoy time spent together and there is plenty of laughter and fun.
In some families the cousins meet each other only once or twice a year. That is the way it was for me on my mother's side of the family. There were reunions held in the summer time that drew us together. We would get reacquainted and spend the day playing then have a difficult time saying goodbye at the end of the day. Many of the cousins were already grown up and married when I was a child but there were a few of us close in age so we had a great time playing in our aunt and uncle's wonderful playhouse. For awhile we exchanged pen pal letters, keeping us close a while longer.
I feel blessed that my grandchildren are growing up friends.
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up the other" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a KJV).